THE HORUS COLLECTION OF ISLAMIC COINS AUCTION

Baldwin’s are delighted to be able to offer for sale in their Islamic Coin Auction 24, the superb Horus Collection of coins from the Islamic World. Comprising a total of 1,193 coins, the collection in its entirety will be sold by public auction in London on the 9 May this year. This fabulous collection has already garnered much interest from collectors and this is set to be one of the most remarkable auctions of Islamic coins to be offered for public auction in recent years. It is rare for a collection of this size and importance to be offered in a single sale. The diversity of the coins offered and range of estimates provides an opportunity for all collectors interested in this field.

Formed over the past thirty five years, the collection has a particular focus on the issues from Egypt and The Near East. The coins have been acquired by a collector with knowledge and a discerning eye. They combine the comprehensive series of coins by date, notably the Umayyad, the early Abbasid and the Fatimid. The range of rare and unusual issues from minor dynasties is rarely offered for sale. Many of the most important pieces have been acquired from the leading European and Middle Eastern auction houses specialising in Islamic coins and the pedigree of individual coins has been given wherever possible in the catalogue descriptions. Gold coins form the greater part of the collection, but amongst the silver issues there are numerous remarkable pieces.

The most important and valuable item in the sale is lot 4085, a superb, and complete, set of Umayyad Reform Coinage, Gold Dinars (56), struck between the years 77h and 132h. The coins are anonymous and without mintname, but they were almost certainly struck at the seat of the caliphate in Damascus and include one of the finest examples of the 77h Dinar known to exist. In the year 77h of the Hijra the Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik introduced a fully Islamic gold Dinar carrying legends found in the Holy Qur’an. This is the most sought-after Islamic coin, whose legends set the pattern for centuries to come and this particular example is one of the finest examples known. The lot comes with an equally impressive estimate of £400,000 –500,000.

Among the plethora of other notable items from the collection is lot 4189, an Abu’l-‘Abbas ‘Abd Allah al-Saffah b. Muhammad (132-136h), Gold Dinar, no mint, 132h. This is the earliest date for the Abbasid gold coinage, which continued the Umayyad tradition of omitting the mint name from its legends. These Dinars were presumably struck at the caliphal residence and differences in the calligraphic style suggest that there was more than one mint that acutally issued them. For example, there would have been a mint in Iraq and a second one in Egypt. The lot is estimated to sell for £8,000 – 10,000.
Also noteworthy is Lot 4318, an Abu-Ja’far Muhammad al-Muntasir billah (247-248h), Gold Dinar, Surra man ra’a 248h, which carries a rather sinister story. Al-Muntasir organised the assassination of his father, al-Mutawakkil. It would appear that he, the usurper, was not widely recognised. The only mint which occasionally bears his name was that of Surra man ra’a, the caliphal residence in Samarra. The coin carries an estimate of £10,000 – 12,000.

The Horus Collection will be sold during a three day Baldwin’s auction extravaganza which will see part one of The David Fore Collection of British Indian coins and part three of The Bentley Collection of British Gold Sovereigns go under the hammer. The sales will be held between 7-9 May in London and will be closely followed by part two of the David Fore Collection on the 31st May. Catalogues will be available online at www.baldwin .co.uk in the five weeks prior to the events.

The catalogue for The Horus Collection is available to view online at www.baldwin.co.uk/auction-ica24

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